This last couple of days have been quite busy! On Friday, another first for me in Israel...I was invited on Friday morning to participate in a Siyum commemorating the first Yahrzeit of Gideon Ariel's father (the Neshama should have an aliya). It was significant for ME for two reasons...first, it was special to be involved in learning l'zecher nishmat of a fellow Jew. At the same time, I was sitting there thinking back to one evening, three years ago.
I had been here in Maale Adumim for the very first time. I was with a group, and we came here for a visit as part of our itinerary. Little did I know how it would change my life. We sat in the Iriya (the municipal building) and heard a briefing about the community, what it had to offer, the services etc, etc., and I was listening very carefully. The speaker indeed had given me a VERY clear picture of what it meant to live in Maale Adumim in general and in the Mitzpe Nevo neighborhood in particular. Needless to say, I was enthralled instantly at the prospect of living in this area.
The speaker was Gideon Ariel, the very same individual with whom I sat to learn in memory of his father, so that his father's neshama should have an ALIYA. I thought about that duality, and it made me smile. He was a link in MY aliya and now he was a link in the aliya of his father's neshama!
Shabbat afternoon, there was a community-wide Seudah Shlisheet for all the new Olim in the area. There must have been 150 people at the Seudah, and it was MAGNIFICENT! People were so welcoming and so outgoing to all of the new Olim. I had the opportunity to give a Dvar Torah (in the lingua franca) about all of us who made Aliya recently. The Rav, Rabbi Elisha Aviner spoke and there were introductions made all around by each family. It was such a welcome and welcoming Seudah Shlisheet!
Now, it is Sunday and back to work...I truly enjoy the fact that Sunday is a "regular" day here. The one thing Israel does not have this weekend: Labor Day Sales...